5 Types of Engineered Wood Board Commonly Used

What is engineered wood?

Engineered wood is also known as “man-made wood” or wood material that went through a multiple forming processes. It is constructed from multiple layers of wood or mixture of sawdust or wood chips that have been reformed with glue and pressure. Engineered wood provide better mechanical properties at some points compared to solid wood.

How do you know if it is engineered wood?

  • Engineered wood mostly in the shape of sheets and flat boards.
  • You cannot see wood grain at some types of engineered wood.
  • There is almost 0 'zero' knots at engineered wood.
  • Glue line or joint line appearance


Description Solid wood Engineered wood
Basics One kind of wood species Mixed wood species
Dimension Various thickness and width
Can be very long 4-8 metres
Standarized from 3 - 30 mm
Sheet dimension 122 x 244 cm
Prefinished No pre-finished Various finished and coating
Sanding Need several sanding No sanding required
Durability Solid wood will stay strong for many years even through several times of sanding and refinishing Can stay longer at indoor environment, but cannot withstand to outdoor conditions
Humidity Need drying process Already dried
Hardness Depends on wood species and density Basically softer, but there are available very hard engineered wood

What are the types of engineered wood?

1. Plywood
Plywood is made of several thin sheets or wood veneers, and each layer or ply is arranged in transverse direction and bonded together under heat and high pressure with high quality of glue or binding agent to form a strong board.

Plywood is the original type of engineered wood board, it is surely the most popular form of engineered wood to the most woodworkers in furniture industry. It is used for quite everything from bed to wardrobes and storage/cabinet units. One of the major advantages of using plywood is that it is incredibly versatile with its wide dimension. You can get flat wood board without concern of bending or shrinkage as long as not being exposed to humid conditions.

2. Particle Board/Chipboard
Particle board is also known as chipboard, it is created by mixed particles of wood such as saw dust, sanding dust with specific type of resin under high pressure so formed as a sheet.
Particle is softer than plywood and of course cheaper. It does not have any wood veneer at surface.

3. Blockboard
Blockboard is made from wood blocks and veneers. Wood blocks (almost square shape) are joined with glue sandwiched with one ply on top and bottom surface. A layer of veneer added on the face and back surface with high pressure to form a blockboard.

4. Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF)
Commonly known as MDF, this type of engineered wood is often the most preferred and used for making office furniture or kitchen cabinets. A big advantage of using MDF is its smooth surface and hardness.

5. High Pressure Laminated (HPL)
It consists of wood fiber and 2 top layers. HPL sheet is developed for outdoor use. The top layers are very dense and very hard so sunlight and moisture cannot penetrate into the sheet. HPL production used resin so-called thermoset, whereas will be very hard after under heat and pressure.

Advantages of engineered wood

  • You can get flat, wide and smooth wood surface. Very good and versatile for making cabinet furniture.
  • It is easy to work even using basic tools and equipment.
  • Cheaper compared to solid wood.

Disadvantages of engineered wood

  • As they use glue to make engineered wood, there is different toxic level, like formaldehyde you have to be concerned.
  • Not suitable for outdoor usage as they are easy to absorb water or humidity at the side.
  • You cannot see wood grain at some types of engineered wood (MDF, Particle board, HPL).


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